Now that it's all over and Dorner appears to have died in an engulfed cabin, conspiracies are beginning to emerge left and right. The latest is over whether or not police purposefully set fire to the cabin, or if they were using tear gas that accidentally ignited. Clips from the local news and audio from police radio indicate that they did in fact intentionally set fire to the cabin. Conspiracy folks are alleging that the force is saying that the audio was fabricated, but as far as we can tell, the department has not officially commented on it one way or another.
A spokesman for the San Bernardino County sheriff's office refused to answer any media questions about the fire or Dorner's death until the press conference the police force is holding on Wednesday at 4pm LA time (midnight GMT).
Waco Texas incident though where a compound full of Branch Davidians died in a fire that hard been started by tear gas igniting, engulfing the compound in flames.
To check out the police radio during the time of the incident, check out these two clips from Archive.org.
We think it's pretty obvious that they probably did intentionally burn the cabin down, and ultimately this will come out in the open. But we also think that the police may have been completely justified in doing so. You have a guy terrorizing the region, being very open about being at war with the police and following through with his manifesto by killing several, and you've got him holed up in cabin by himself. And he's not surrendering. In fact he's continuing to shoot at officers. So you can either have a shootout that continues to last for days, potentially killing many more officers, or you can get it over with much more quickly by forcing Dorner to act. By setting the cabin on fire, you force Dorner to make the next move quickly to end the situation. He has to either leave the cabin and either 1) surrender, or 2) continue being aggressive which would lead to his death, or he would take his own life inside the cabin. In any one of those scenarios, the situation is concluded much quicker at less risk to the officers.
The LAPD may have some serious internal issues that they need to work out, but we don't see any problems with how this was handled at the cabin. Now, when they shot at the two Asian women a few days earlier because their truck matched the description of Dorners? That was a complete clusterfuck and should not just be glossed over or forgotten. But when you have a man who has shown himself to be a threat to the extent that Dorner had, as long as he is not surrendering you do whatever it takes to put him down.
Update: Sheriff: "No intent to burn down cabin to get Dorner"
"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," Sheriff John McMahon said at an afternoon news conference.
He said deputies initially fired conventional "cold" tear gas into the cabin in Seven Oaks, near Big Bear Lake, then switched to "pyrotechnic-type" rounds" known as "burners."
Hmm yeah not buying it. Why not just admit you intended to burn it down? You did what you had to do.